Boris Johnson takes fresh swipe at Emmanuel Macron over Putin

Former spin doctor on Boris wanting to punch Macron

Boris Johnson has reportedly taken a fresh swipe at Emmanuel Macron over Vladimir Putin.

The ex-prime minister is said to have slapped down the French President over his warning against the Russian leader being “humiliated” amid his brutal invasion of Ukraine.

Mr Johnson made the remarks during a private lunch organised by a pro-Ukraine think tank in Dallas as he headed to the US to drum up support among Republicans for war-torn Kyiv, according to Politico.

Putting on a French accent, the 58-year-old told guests at the lunch: “I think it was my French friend and colleague Emmanuel Macron who said ‘Putin must not be humiliated’.

“I think it takes an awful lot to humiliate Vladimir Putin, frankly. I don’t think it’s our job to worry about Vladimir Putin’s ego, or his political prospects, or developments in his career.”

In June last year, Mr Macron said the West must not “humiliate” Russia so that when the fighting stops in Ukraine a diplomatic solution can be found.

He said: “We must not humiliate Russia so that the day when the fighting stops we can build an exit ramp through diplomatic means.”

Mr Johnson led support for Ukraine and struck up a close friendship with wartime leader Volodymyr Zelensky when he was the occupant of No 10.

He has continued to speak out in support of Kyiv, which has been under attack by Russia since February 2021.

It comes after claims a furious Mr Johnson previously blasted Mr Macron as “Putin’s lickspittle” after the French President criticised the then-PM’s response to the Ukrainian refugee crisis.

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Former Downing Street director of communication Guto Harri also said Mr Johnson called Mr Macron a “four-letter word that begins with c”.

He told his Unprecedented podcast: “When the British press was giving the British Government a hard time over our response to the refugee crisis, Macron turbocharged it by criticising Boris pretty directly and his words were all over the front page of The Guardian.

“Much as Boris is not prone to getting really cross, nor using particularly strong language, this was one where he really flipped at our morning meeting.

“He just launched into a violent attack on Emmanuel Macron.

“Basically, saying ‘He’s a four-letter word that begins with C, he’s a weirdo, he’s Putin’s lickspittle… We need an orgy of frog bashing. I’m going to have to punch his lights out’.”

Mr Harri said the two leaders had patched up their differences before a G7 summit a few weeks later.

The former No 10 official also said there was an “extraordinary bond” between Mr Johnson and Mr Zelensky.

Recalling a phone call on the night Ukraine was invaded, Mr Harri said: “It was massively sobering.

“We really could not believe that this was seriously underway. A superpower advancing on a neighbour who had done nothing to provoke it.

“Boris could not have been clearer that we were there to help Ukraine in whichever way we possibly could, using whatever we could possibly deploy within reason.

“The two of them had this extraordinary bond. And, dare I mention it, this kind of really dark gallows humour that was obviously a coping mechanism.”

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